Alphas episode 9 review: Blind Spot

Alphas reaches episode 9, and by now, Billy’s beginning to feel a distinct feeling of déjà vu. Here’s his review of Blind Spot…

This review contains spoilers.

9. Blind Spot

Before I get into the vagaries of Blind Spot, I’d just like to mention that I was actually rather shocked that Syfy announced another season of Alphas for 2012. Not that the show is as awful as some I’ve reviewed on Geek, but it wasn’t giving me that repeat business vibe. I guess when you’re commissioning shows for a channel like Syfy, you have more wiggle room than on mainstream networks, but it wasn’t an obvious move, considering they’ve just ended the popular Eureka.

After a short hiatus, and the diabolically bad angel story that preceeded, I guess the only direction for Alphas was up, though if I’m honest Blind Spot wasn’t the best of this seasons offerings by far.

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I’ve come to the conclusion that Brent Spiner (Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation) is always asked to be one of a few things: a robot, a crazy scientist, or a crazy insane mad scientist. He’s doing the latter here, as he appears as a uniquely blind Alpha who can see with sound waves. Brent can actually be quite chilling at times, which makes me wonder if he’d make a good foil for Dexter – but I digress.

In Alphas, he’s got an ultimately rather lame story, where he’s held by the Alpha team at the office. But he’s not the only new Alpha in their midst.

There’s another, invisible Alpha called Griffin, played by Rebecca Mader. She played an almost identical character in No Ordinary Family, where she could hide in plain sight by shape shifting. Hang on, wasn’t the main plot of that show a serum that could turn ordinary people into super humans?

It was actually her appearance which made me begin to seriously question how much of the show is now borrowed ideas from other mutant adventures, not least the X-Men, and how little original stuff is in here. The evidence is compelling, because there isn’t much that’s not swiped from elsewhere. All we need now is Dr Rosen to become a telepath, end up in a wheelchair and for Tom to start wearing yellow spandex, and we’re there.

If the overall arc is from elsewhere, much of what happens in this story appears to have been inspired by playing Team Fortress 2 and getting paranoid about being stabbed by spies. It’s entirely predicated on members of the team realising that something is wrong but stupidly failing to mention it to anyone else around them.

And then there’s that Nina and Cameron romance, which seems about as natural as those freeze-dried ice cream blocks astronauts take into orbit. And Gary is becoming very annoying again.

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There were also some monolithic plot holes, which I’m inclined to point out. The first of which is the idea that Griffin exploits the blind spot that we all have in our sight. Surely, if this was expanded to hide a human standing next to you, then your sight would be so impaired you’d crash into objects continually, as the brain can only fill in so much missing data. And Dr Kern’s power makes little sense, as does his plan to escape by demolishing the building he’s in. Perhaps I’m being overly critical, but when the story isn’t especially engaging, then you tend to focus on other things.

Next week, Alphas takes inspiration from Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy, when it’s revealed that one of them is a Red Flag agent. My guess is that it will be one of those, “he or she is a spy, but doesn’t know it themselves” stories. I guess we’ll have to wait till season two, and a bigger budget, before they get their own jet and matching outfits.

Read our review of episode 8, A Short Time In Paradise, here.

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